Axis Mundi … remember that firm? Back when controversy surrounded Jean Nouvel’s proposed tower for the MoMA’s expansion, the firm offered an alternative stacked design highly different from Nouvel’s metallic creation. It seems Axis Mundi is back for the shock value as the firm has just released images for their version of the new Whitney Museum of American Art. The current design, led by Renzo Piano, utilizes his characteristically light and technical aesthetics (check out his Shard which is under construction) to create an elegant addition critics have challenge may be too “timid” – Axis Mundi’s design is anything but. Their proposal incorporates a loud exoskeleton that not only seems completely out of scale, but also fights with its neighborhood for attention rather than settling into its context. The geometry, which has been shaped by the sight lines and street grid of the city, intends to reference Breuer’s Whitney on Madison Avenue. As The Architect’s Newspaper Blog noted, the proposal mentions nothing of cost – one of the biggest obstacles Piano is facing.
Check out more images of Axis Mundi’s proposal after the break.